Thursday, September 27, 2012

Writing Music

Music has always played an important role in my writing process, mostly because it helps me to capture the right tone in whatever scene I'm working on. If I can't find the right song I spend a lot of time staring blankly at my music library instead of writing, and if I have the right one I can get lost in the word document for a very long time.

When I wrote Divergent I was in that hyperfocused zone for far longer than I've ever been before, and that was largely because I found an entire album that helped me with tone, and it was Memento Mori by Flyleaf. (Not all the songs, but a substantial portion of them.)

I never found an album that helped me with Insurgent, or any particular songs, really, which is perhaps why writing Insurgent was so difficult-- or the difficulty I was having was reflected in my inability to find songs. Or both. And for a long time, book 3 was the same way.

Actually, now that I think about it, I think my inability to connect with music during the drafting process actually suggests a lack of clarity in my own mind-- the plot and the characters get sort of muddled and I'm nervous that I won't be able to un-muddle them, so I can't find anything to listen to that will help me because I'm not even sure what I need.

However, I did stumble across a CD I've had in my library for several months, as if for the first time, while I was in Canada a couple weeks ago:

I'll bold the songs that have been particularly helpful:

Only If For a Night
Shake It Out
What the Water Gave Me
Never Let Me Go
Breaking Down
Lover to Lover
No Light, No Light
Seven Devils
All This and Heaven Too
Leave My Body

I don't know if this happens to other people, but when I listen to Florence I feel like everything I'm doing is epic, whether I'm washing dishes or petting the dog or tying my shoelaces. So that's sort of perfect for the end of a series, right? I think so.

I hope you enjoy. If you write, tell me about your music habits in the comments! I'm always interested in other writers' processes. (And in discovering new music, if you want to recommend something.)


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